These Are the Healthiest Probiotic-Rich Foods to Eat

These Are the Healthiest Probiotic-Rich Foods to Eat

By: Jenna Davidson

“I’ve heard of probiotics! They’re people who love robots, right?”
“My gut has
what in it!?”
“Who’re you calling uncultured?”

You may have heard of these things called probiotics. Maybe you’ve even tried them in a supplement or two, not knowing exactly why.

What are probiotics? And where can you find them in foods you eat often (or not so often)?

Probiotics are the good bacteria that reside in your gut and within certain fermented foods. They help you digest, fight bad bacteria and mold, reduce anxiety and stress and a slew of other health benefits.

There’s a high demand for a good probiotic supplement these days. If you can find one that agrees with you and has a large amount of CFUs (colony forming units) or contains more than one strain of bacteria, go for it. But a better option is to eat probiotic-rich foods daily.

Common Probiotic Strains:

  • Lactobacillus Acidophilus.

  • Lactobacillus Casei.

  • Lactobacillus Lactis.

  • Lactobacillus Paracasei.

  • Lactobacillus Plantarum.

  • Lactobacillus Rhamnosus.

  • Lactobacillus fermentum.

  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus.

Yes, they do sound a lot like Harry Potter spells…

 

TOP FOODS THAT CONTAIN PROBIOTICS:

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YOGURT & KEFIR
If you eat a probiotic yogurt already, good job! Find a low-sugar one that has more than one of the strains mentioned above (or others) and rock out. Kefir’s cool too. It’s a fermented milk drink similar to yogurt. Kefir is thinner and more sour than yogurt but has a ton of good bugs. Try both and see which one works for you.

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KIMCHI & SAUERKRAUT
Would you ever think that anything hotdog related could be healthy? Sauerkraut and kimchi are both fermented cabbage. Most cultures (yes, food puns) around the world use bacteria (and time) to preserve food. Probiotics are a wonderful, delicious and healthy byproduct of that process. You can find tons of sauerkraut and kimchi recipes online or pick some up at your local grocery store.

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KOMBUCHA
It’s all the rage nowadays. Kombucha is in most supermarkets and on tap in some specialty food stores. There’s even kombucha beer now! Do you ever examine the sediment at the bottom of this fermented and effervescent drink? That creepy looking creature that swirls around is all bacteria. Don’t be freaked out. Those are the probiotics! Pick a kombucha based on the sugar amount per serving. Some are higher than others, so choose one that’s on the low side.

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SOUR PICKLES
There are many different types of pickles, and they’re not all equal. Vinegar pickles are well, brined in vinegar. Fermented dill’s and full or half sour pickles contain that good gut bacteria we’re looking for. You know that classic rhyme: “A pickle a day keeps the doctor away!” Close enough.

 

If you’re looking to improve your gut and overall health, eat some probiotic-rich foods everyday and monitor how you feel. Supplements are okay, but they’re just that--supplements! But, in the grand scheme of things, your wellness journey is your own. Learning new inside information and expanding what you eat is all for your benefit. So, pick a couple of foods from the list above, get a quality probiotic supplement and start feeling good.


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